Established in Joseph Pulitzer’s 1904 will as “an incentive to excellence,” the Pulitzer Prizes are the most prestigious awards in American journalism. They are also given in the categories of “letters, drama and music.” This year’s Pulitzers included several winners with Minnesota connections.
Darnella Frazier, the Minneapolis teenager who filmed George Floyd’s murder, won a special citation “for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.” She was 17 at the time.
The Star Tribune won for breaking news for its coverage of Floyd’s killing and the civil unrest that followed. This makes the seventh Pulitzer for the Star Tribune and its predecessors, the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune. In 2013, Steve Sack won for editorial cartooning, an award that was not given this year.
Minneapolis-based novelist Louise Erdrich won the fiction prize for “The Night Watchman.” She was a finalist in 2009 for “The Plague of Doves.”
Natalie Diaz took the poetry prize for “Postcolonial Love Poem,” published by Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press. (This is the third Graywolf book to win a Pulitzer.) Graywolf also had a finalist for fiction: Percival Everett’s novel “Telephone.”
Minnesota-born-and-raised composer and orchestra leader Maria Schneider was a finalist in music for her fan-funded double album “Data Lords,” which also won two Grammys in March. Schneider grew up in Windom.
Relatively normal ‘full-on’ State Fair is on
On the off chance you haven’t heard, the Minnesota State Fair will return this year, with no attendance restrictions and no mask or proof-of-vaccination requirements, at least not at this time. Masks are strongly encouraged for those who are not fully vaccinated. Cleaning and sanitation measures will follow state guidelines, but other than that, it will be the fair we remember, or as close as it can come.
General Manager Jerry Hammer said in a statement, “Recovery from the past year will take some time for many of our partners, so this year’s fair may look a little different from what we’re used to. I guarantee, though, that we will do our very best to give you the full-on Minnesota State Fair experience.”
Gate ticket prices will go up a dollar. Ticket prices will also rise for popular attractions, including the Giant Slide. Pre-fair discount admission tickets are on sale now. The fair will run from Aug. 26 through Labor Day, Sept. 6. Grandstand shows are still being booked.
Minnesota Center for Book Arts has announced the 2021 McKnight Book Artist Fellows. Each will receive $25,000 awards, 24/7 studio access and a range of professional opportunities throughout their fellowship year.
Mary Hark, a papermaker and paper artist, is the proprietor of HARK! Handmade Paper Studio in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, producing limited editions of handmade papers and unique paper artworks. Her work is found in the permanent collections of museums from Brooklyn to South Africa.
Sonja Peterson, whose work encompasses paper cuts, bookmaking, collage and stencils, received her BFA from MCAD and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. She has had residencies at the Bell Museum and the American Swedish Institute and has exhibited nationally and internationally. She lives and works in Minneapolis.
This is only the second year that Book Artist Fellows have been named. In 2019-20, McKnight added five artistic disciplines to its list of fellowships, also including community-based/social practice artists, printmakers, textile artists and traditional artists, bringing the total to 15.
Thoughts about expectations as our world reopens
The pandemic that changed our lives – and took the lives of almost 600,000 people in the U.S. – seems to be receding, at least here. States are reopening, mask mandates are ending, people are being vaccinated. Arts organizations are announcing cautiously ambitious seasons. We can go places and attend events again, both outdoors and indoors.
We’ve been to some: gallery openings, music in Crooners’ big new outdoor tent, Northrop, the Walker hillside, the Southern, a book launch at a brewery, Orchestra Hall. We’re still wearing masks indoors and plan to continue. We’re not in a huge hurry to go everywhere. Baby steps are fine for now, plus we’re so out of the habit of going out that we’ve kind of forgotten how. We had it down to a precise science 15 months ago; not anymore.
Your first time back at a place you love and have missed with all of your heart might seem … weird. It might not be the grand return, great catharsis or ta-da moment you’re expecting (or maybe dreading; will you be so overcome that you break down in tears?). You might wonder why you’re not enjoying it more or just feeling it more.
You’re not the only one, and never has this been more true. None of us has ever lived through a 15-month pandemic. We don’t know how to act. We’re not sure how to feel. All those months of fear, frustration, sadness and grief are still there under the thinnest of tissues.
Maybe this transitional period of strangeness and uncertainty is our new normal, at least for now. Maybe it’s enough to show up and see what happens.
V is for virtual, L is for live and in person. We’re pretty sure this is the first time in a year when we have listed more live than virtual events.
V Wednesday, June 16, 7 p.m.: Weisman Art Museum: Online Artist Talk: Seitu Jones in Conversation with Douglas Kearney. Jones is a multidisciplinary artist and community organizer known for his large-scale public artworks and environmental design. (One example: the new pedestrian bridge over 35W at East 40th St.) Kearney is an award-winning poet and librettist who recently won the inaugural Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, conceived and funded by Mark Campbell, whose name is known to Minnesota Opera fans. Free with registration.
L Thursday, June 17, 8 p.m.: Washburn Fair Oaks Park, across E. 24th St. from Mia: Movies in the Park: Wig + Other Voices. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets to a free screening of “Wig,” the history of Wigstock, New York’s annual drag festival. A six-minute short, “Other Voices,” featuring trans and gender non-conforming people, will open. Arrive as early as 8 p.m. Movies will start at dusk.
L and V Saturday, June 19, 6 p.m.: Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church: An Evening with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet and Professor Jericho Brown. Last year’s Pulitzer poetry buzz was all about Brown, the first Black gay poet to claim the prize. A master of lyric and form, he invented something called the “duplex,” which combines the sonnet, the ghazal and the blues. Brown writes powerful poetry that combines beauty with the terror of living in a Black body, and this may be the poetry event of the season. FMI and tickets (in-person $20, virtual $10).
L Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20: Stone Arch Bridge Festival. The 2020 Stone Arch Bridge Festival was canceled, like everything else. The 2021 festival will happen – but across the bridge, on West River Parkway. The focus this year will be the artists, with more than 200 in attendance, eager to show what they’ve been up to for the past two years. Live music will take place on two stages; performers include Javier Trejo, Martin Devaney, Dylan Hicks, Lydia Liza, Dan Israel, Katy Vernon, Courtney Yasmineh and the U of M Marching Band. There will be food and beverages, there will be car collectors and their cars. All COVID safety protocols and requirements in place at the time of the festival will be followed. Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
L Sunday, June 20, 2 p.m.: Lake Harriet Bandshell: Father’s Day With Cantus. The sterling men’s vocal ensemble carries on its annual tradition with a program of songs they love and audience favorites. This will be their first in-person concert in Minneapolis in more than a year. Free.